I spoke with my brother this evening. I have been meaning to call him since before Thanksgiving but somehow every time I thought about that call it was either too late or it was when I figured he'd be at school so I didn't make the call waiting for the right time.
Guess we know how that goes, waiting for the right time leaves lots of things undone.......certainly in my life anyway. I felt bad when I did connect with him today that I had not done so sooner. I miss him sometimes.
Now, I know that basically I have said here that I don't keep in touch with my siblings from my family of origin. The one exception to that has been my youngest brother. I posted a little about his history in Is Multiple Personality Disorder or DID Genetic?
From the beginning this brother has been the only one that has believed me and supported me. He doesn't think I'm crazy or that I've lied. He believes they are the liars and I'm the only one he can trust.
My brother did go to therapy at the same place that I did. I think that from his brief time there, the therapists believe that he is a multiple too. However, he didn't stay in therapy long enough to resolve anything. It was too painful and he ran.
While it saddened me that he didn't work through his issues, I can certainly understand it. The pain of therapy was overwhelming. I doubt that I would have pursued it had it not been for the fear I had that I was unprepared to protect my children if I didn't heal. That motivation is what kept me going.
My brother didn't really have much to hang onto at the time. As angry as he was at our family of origin he was still equally frightened at the prospect of being abandoned by them. He couldn't cope with that thought so he quit but he never did give up on me.
I guess that explains why he's so important to me. He is the one person in the family who acknowledges our home life to be the same as I remember. That kind of support has been important. I could have made it without it but I definitely have valued that gift......if that makes any sense.
Over the years there have been lots of problems in my relationship with my brother. We rescued him for a while. He lived with us up until we told him he had to leave. It was a hurtful time, at least for me, but if it was hurtful to him, I'll probably never know. The fact that we couldn't afford to support him and our four children may have been enough for him to "excuse" us from what otherwise may have been a transgression in his eyes. I just don't know.
Later down the road, he rented a unit in a duplex from my daughter. I tried to discourage this knowing where it would lead but my daughter couldn't bring herself to say "no."
When it was all said and done, it didn't end well. My daughter ended up evicting my brother and for a while I think he lived on the street. I am not sure.......all I know is for several years I had no idea where he was. I was worried about him but I still supported my daughter needing to evict my brother. She couldn't afford to pay his way anymore than we could years before.
Still I felt (and still feel) caught in the middle between the two of them. I love them both and I don't want to chose. Yet, whenever I have a family get together and don't invite my brother because my daughter and her husband will be angry, that's exactly what I'm doing.
For me, I don't hold the past against him. I still love him, he's my brother. He hasn't done anything that is hurtful to me in a very long time..........the one he has hurt is himself. Even in that time when he was renting from my daughter, it might have been inconvenient for her but mostly he was hurting himself. The time it went on was because she didn't want to stand up for herself. That part is on her.........although she doesn't see it that way, I am sure.
The biggest part of the problems have to do with my brother lying. He insists he hasn't........she insists he has..........me I wonder about that early diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder. If he is broken up into parts, he may not know what the truth is. He may be telling the truth as he understands it to be when there really is another truth as well.
Recently I have suggested this possibility to my daughter. She did acknowledge it might be one explanation of the problem. However, I'm not sure she is ready or willing to accept it. For me.........it doesn't matter. What matters to me is what's in my brother's heart.
I will be posting about my brother along the way. I don't want to let him go and I would like to be there for him as he has for me. I know there are risks along the way but I'm willing to take those.
I'll be thinking over what I see as the complexities of this and letting you all know what's going on along the way. For now I'll leave you with this thought, I do protect myself from my brother and the explanation of that will probably be where I start.
PS. If you are wondering.I am working on a post to answer a question from JIP's comments. I hope it will be done tomorrow but who knows.........it's a tough subject. I'll get it posted when I've managed to express myself clearly.